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OnBaseMachine
11-13-2008, 01:38 PM
CINCINNATI REDS

Five-Star Prospects
1. Yonder Alonso, 1B
Four-Star Prospects
2. Todd Frazier, INF
3. Drew Stubbs, CF
Three-Star Prospects
4. Chris Valaika, SS
5. Neftali Soto, 3B
6. Yorman Rodriguez, CF
7. Juan Duran, OF
8. Juan Francisco, 3B
9. Kyle Lotzker, RHP
Two-Star Prospects
10. Daryl Thompson, RHP
11. Devin Mesoraco, C

Just Missed: Zach Cozart, SS; Josh Roenicke, RHP; Zach Stewart, RHP

Ranking Challenges: Yonder is a clear number one for me, and Frazier/Stubbs are just as obviously the second-tier prospects. It's always difficult to figure out what to do with toolsy 16-year-old Latin American Yorman Rodriguez and 17-year-old Juan Duran. You'd like to maybe leave them off the list and wait for more information, but $4.5 million for the pair says a lot on its own, as do the scouting reports. They were impossible not to include, as the system bottoms out pretty quickly.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=8304

New Fever
11-13-2008, 02:01 PM
In the interview Terry Reynolds said that Yorman Rodriguez and Juan Duran will both be in the GCL this year.

New Fever
11-13-2008, 02:05 PM
Also, he said Juan Carlos Sulbaran will start at one of the A levels. Reynolds doesn't agree with BP about Mesaraco and said that he will be in Sarasota to start next year.

BRM
11-13-2008, 02:06 PM
Kc was right. BP isn't nearly as high on Soto as RedsZone is. Also, if Lotzkar has TOR type talent, how is he only a 3 star prospect?

New Fever
11-13-2008, 02:09 PM
Kc was right. BP isn't nearly as high on Soto as RedsZone is.

In the article, a scout does say this though: "the ball just comes off his bat differently."

OnBaseMachine
11-13-2008, 02:10 PM
I like Stubbs and Valaika a lot, but there is no way they should rank ahead of Soto IMO. BP's scouting report on Soto is very encouraging, as they say he's got plenty of raw power to all parts of the field, his easy swing will allow him to hit for a high average, and he has good hands and a cannon for an arm at third base.

Goldstein says Stubbs develops into a Mike Cameron type player in his Perfect World projection.

Goldstein agrees with what Baseball America said a week or so ago, that Alonso projects as a .300/.400/.500 type of hitter.

The scouting report on Yorman Rodriguez was jaw dropping. Here's a little excerpt: Rodriguez is a human tool shed, with plus-plus raw power and game-changing speed. Throw in a plus-arm and you have a potential five-tool monster. He's a fluid athlete who projects as a plus center fielder. "Potentially, there's nothing he can't do," said one scout. They list Yorman as 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds.

Goldstein compares Juan Duran's body type to Daryl Strawberry. He says Duran has a good feel for the strikezone for such a young kid and a good swing that generates tremendous raw power. He also says Duran is a good athlete who runs well.

Scouts save about Juan Francisco's power. Says he has 35-40 homer power but he needs to work on plate discipline.

Lotzkar has the highest ceiling of any pitcher in the Reds system. He says Lotzkar's arm is fully healed and he was 100% in instructional league.

Daryl Thompson projects as a solid back of rotation starter. He thinks Thompson could compete for a spot on the Reds roster in spring training.

Says Mesoraco was disappointing last season but the tools are still there and it's way too early to give up on him. The Reds still like him a lot and raved about his showing in instructional league.

He also says Jay Bruce has superstar written all over him and he expects a minimum of 30 homers from Bruce in 2009.

OnBaseMachine
11-13-2008, 02:11 PM
Goldstein on Juan Carlos Sulbaran:

The Sleeper: A 30th-round draft pick in June, righty Juan-Carlos Sulbaran earned a $500,000 bonus to avoid going home to the Netherlands to pitch professionally there. He's got a projectable body, and three pitches that rate average or above, including a fastball that can get up to 94 mph.

BRM
11-13-2008, 02:11 PM
Maybe I just don't understand the star system. How does the report on Yorman Rodriquez translate into 3 star prospect? That reads like a 5 star to me.

OnBaseMachine
11-13-2008, 02:13 PM
Kc was right. BP isn't nearly as high on Soto as RedsZone is. Also, if Lotzkar has TOR type talent, how is he only a 3 star prospect?

I didn't know Goldstein was *that* tools oriented. Stubbs and Valaika are good prospects but what Soto did in 2008 was special for a 19 year old. There's no way they should rank ahead of Soto IMO. As for Lotzkar, he was only 18 years old this season and he didn't rack up very many innings which is why he's only a three star. If Soto had been a first round pick I'm guessing he would have ranked #1 or 2.

BRM
11-13-2008, 02:16 PM
I didn't know Goldstein was *that* tools oriented. Stubbs and Valaika are good prospects but what Soto did in 2008 was special for a 19 year old. There's no way they should rank ahead of Soto IMO. As for Lotzkar, he was only 18 years old this season and he didn't rack up very many innings which is why he's only a three star. If Soto had been a first round pick I'm guessing he would have ranked #1 or 2.

So the stars are based on current performance more than potential?

OnBaseMachine
11-13-2008, 02:22 PM
He also factors in playing time. Duran and Yorman have yet to even play pro ball and Lotzkar only threw around 37 innings this season. Even Soto only picked up 285 atbats this season.

New Fever
11-13-2008, 02:24 PM
BP has a new feature that allows users to leave comments about the article. If you have any questions about the list Goldstein will answer your questions.

BRM
11-13-2008, 02:31 PM
He also factors in playing time. Duran and Yorman have yet to even play pro ball and Lotzkar only threw around 37 innings this season. Even Soto only picked up 285 atbats this season.

That makes sense. Thanks OBM.

redsfandan
11-13-2008, 02:33 PM
Ranking Challenges: Yonder is a clear number one for me, and Frazier/Stubbs are just as obviously the second-tier prospects. It's always difficult to figure out what to do with toolsy 16-year-old Latin American Yorman Rodriguez and 17-year-old Juan Duran. You'd like to maybe leave them off the list and wait for more information, but $4.5 million for the pair says a lot on its own, as do the scouting reports. They were impossible not to include, as the system bottoms out pretty quickly.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=8304

now i know that the rankings don't include bruce, bailey, cueto, and votto now but it seems like we still have some decent depth. i didn't see a mention of ramirez, dickerson, etc. it seems like all we're missing is a few more middle infielder/tor prospects. also, when soto, yorman, etc have more time in we could have alot of 4 and 5 star prospects.

OnBaseMachine
11-13-2008, 02:46 PM
I found the scouting report on Soto's defense at third to be very encouraging. Goldstein says he has good hands and a cannon for an arm at third base but he notes he needs to work on his footwork. That's OK. You can teach footwork. With his bat, all he needs to be is just an average defender and he'll be a star. I'm still surprised Stubbs and especially Valaika were ahead of him, I know they play premium positions but you can't ignore what Soto has did with the bat at such a young age. He's put up similar numbers to Jay Bruce at the same age.

BRM
11-13-2008, 02:49 PM
I found the scouting report on Soto's defense at third to be very encouraging. Goldstein says he has good hands and a cannon for an arm at third base but he notes he needs to work on his footwork. That's OK. You can teach footwork. With his bat, all he needs to be is just an average defender and he'll be a star. I'm still surprised Stubbs and especially Valaika were ahead of him, I know they play premium positions but you can't ignore what Soto has did with the bat at such a young age. He's put up similar numbers to Jay Bruce at the same age.

If has an '09 that is on par or better than '08, he'll definitely move up to the #2 spot IMO.

Patrick Bateman
11-13-2008, 02:57 PM
I didn't know Goldstein was *that* tools oriented. Stubbs and Valaika are good prospects but what Soto did in 2008 was special for a 19 year old.

It really wasn't that special IMO. Soto certainly displayed his raw tools really well, but he's still a dude with a .343 OBP. I mean, 7 walks in over 200 at-bats is a pretty big sign that he has discipline issues. I mean I understand the argument that "he's swinging because he can hit everything", but he's striking out 5 times as often as he walks. That's a problem.

Of course, he's only 19, and does have a special bat when he does connect, but he's a pretty big work in process, and has a lot of learning to do. I could see his lack of discipline really backtracking him as he moves up to more advances pitching that can take advantage of him.

bucksfan2
11-13-2008, 03:12 PM
It really wasn't that special IMO. Soto certainly displayed his raw tools really well, but he's still a dude with a .343 OBP. I mean, 7 walks in over 200 at-bats is a pretty big sign that he has discipline issues. I mean I understand the argument that "he's swinging because he can hit everything", but he's striking out 5 times as often as he walks. That's a problem.

Of course, he's only 19, and does have a special bat when he does connect, but he's a pretty big work in process, and has a lot of learning to do. I could see his lack of discipline really backtracking him as he moves up to more advances pitching that can take advantage of him.

I don't quite understand this. You have a guy who lights up Rookie ball then puts up an OPS of .843 as a 19 year old in Low A ball and you complain because he doesn't walk enough? He is the kind of guy who want up at the plate because he is dangerous every time he steps up. The walks may or may not come but if he continues to hit the way he is I would be perfectly content.

Kc61
11-13-2008, 03:13 PM
My top forty also had Alonso, Frazier, and Stubbs in that order. Even if it takes time for his power to develop, Stubbs as a potential .350 OBP player -- given his defense -- is golden. Let's see if his offensive improvement sticks in AAA next season.

I think the 4-5 range makes sense for Soto. Whatever defensive potential he has, nobody is saying he's a gifted fielder. He doesn't walk. So he has his flaws. I don't view him quite as highly as some.

Still, the 4-5 spot among all Reds prospects is a pretty good showing for Soto. Some folks don't admire BA, but Soto looks like a potential .300 hitter which is super and something this org needs, particularly from the right side.

Valaika, to me, should be a bit lower down the list. Not a great OBP guy, not a power man, defense is unclear. The higher rank only make sense for him if he seems like an average defensive major league starting shortstop. If so, then I can understand given his good ability to hit singles and doubles.

Hard to judge the very young players. And as I've said too often, Roenicke is being underrated. Sometime, for some team, he will blow away hitters for a few years.

bucksfan2
11-13-2008, 03:44 PM
Valaika, to me, should be a bit lower down the list. Not a great OBP guy, not a power man, defense is unclear. The higher rank only make sense for him if he seems like an average defensive major league starting shortstop. If so, then I can understand given his good ability to hit singles and doubles.

I am starting to think that Valaika may be the biggest surprise of the Reds minor league system. If he can hold his own a SS then I have a feeling we will be pleasantly surprised by his offensive abilities. He has shown to struggle a little bit when he jumps levels but makes the proper adjustments. After his disappointing 07 stint in Sarasota he put up .363/.393/.585 to start off this season. IIRC he struggled when he got to AA but still ended up with a .301/.352/.443 line. Valaika may never be a superstar but I just get the feeling that he will be a productive every day SS for the Reds for a long time.

redsof72
11-13-2008, 03:49 PM
Soto will be fine, as long as they don't try to move him through the system too quickly. If anyone tells you that Soto is not a blue-chip hitting prospect, they have not seen him play. Soto was the best hitter on his team and was in a position where he needed to be a run producer, not go up there trying to draw walks. He was in the 3 spot in the order. His .500 slugging percentage as a 19 year old in a full season league was impressive. He is a first-pitch hitter. On his team, he was the money man in their offense. You want your money man hitting the ball off the fence, not going up there trying to draw walks. He did that pretty darn well. Once the game starts, the players are playing to win. A walk for Soto was going to be a good outcome for the opposing pitcher most of the time in 2008.

As far as Soto's defense, it was adequate but not anything special. You might note that when the team was battling to get into the playoffs the last couple of weeks, the manager stopped alternating Soto between third base and designated hitter and started playing Waring every day at third and DH-ing Soto every day. Soto was the DH for every playoff game.

I would rather see Mesoraco start '09 back in Dayton. The thing you worry about sometimes with a first round pick in an organization that may have some turnover in terms of the scouting director and farm director is that decisions start getting made for the wrong reasons with the kid. There are people who need the Mesoraco pick to look like a good pick. They gave him a lot of money and in a sense, put their reputations on the line. Instead of doing what is best for the kid (putting him in the GCL in 2008 to work on his defense daily would have been best for Mesoraco), there is going to be a political element in how they handle him. I would rather see Mesoraco go to Dayton for six weeks, hit .300 there as I feel he would, shake off the torrential downpour of criticism that he has to carry on his shoulders, and feel like he is making progress. I would rather see that than have him go to Sarasota and hit .260 and keep hearing that he was a bad pick. Mesoraco's offensive skills are light years ahead of his defensive skills and if he is playing in a league where he is hitting well rather than struggling, he can concentrate on defensive development.

Patrick Bateman
11-13-2008, 03:50 PM
I don't quite understand this. You have a guy who lights up Rookie ball then puts up an OPS of .843 as a 19 year old in Low A ball and you complain because he doesn't walk enough? He is the kind of guy who want up at the plate because he is dangerous every time he steps up. The walks may or may not come but if he continues to hit the way he is I would be perfectly content.

That wasn't my point at all.

Just as a prospect, I think people are forgetting that he's a very long ways from being major league calibre. As far as prospectdom goes, he probably has higher upside than a Stubbs, but Soto probably needs around 4 years of development to get to the majors... a much riskier proposition than Stubbs who's already had success at the upper levels.

The point is, if the walks don't come, the rest of his package likely falls apart, so I have trouble seeing him as the advanced prospect that others see him as. Physically he's advanced... approach wise not so much.

OnBaseMachine
11-13-2008, 04:02 PM
It really wasn't that special IMO. Soto certainly displayed his raw tools really well, but he's still a dude with a .343 OBP. I mean, 7 walks in over 200 at-bats is a pretty big sign that he has discipline issues. I mean I understand the argument that "he's swinging because he can hit everything", but he's striking out 5 times as often as he walks. That's a problem.

Of course, he's only 19, and does have a special bat when he does connect, but he's a pretty big work in process, and has a lot of learning to do. I could see his lack of discipline really backtracking him as he moves up to more advances pitching that can take advantage of him.

I'd be worried about the walk totals if he was striking out at a bad rate, but his K rate is actually fairly low for a power hitter. I agree that he needs to walk more, but I'm just not too worried about it right now. His low strikeout rate and .176 IsoP in the Midwest League really stood out to me. He's got a chance to be a special hitter IMO.

OnBaseMachine
11-13-2008, 04:06 PM
BTW here is what scouts said about Valaika's offense and defense:

Hitting seems to come easy for Valaika. He's a bit of a free swinger, but he makes solid contact to all fields and showed surprising power that scouts now believe in, projecting him for 15-20 home runs a year while playing an infield position. He's a solid but unspectacular shortstop with a good arm who carries himself like a big leaguer and wants to be at the plate and making the plays with the game on the line.

But then later Goldstein says his range and arm is short.

OnBaseMachine
11-13-2008, 04:10 PM
Soto will be fine, as long as they don't try to move him through the system too quickly. If anyone tells you that Soto is not a blue-chip hitting prospect, they have not seen him play. Soto was the best hitter on his team and was in a position where he needed to be a run producer, not go up there trying to draw walks. He was in the 3 spot in the order. His .500 slugging percentage as a 19 year old in a full season league was impressive. He is a first-pitch hitter. On his team, he was the money man in their offense. You want your money man hitting the ball off the fence, not going up there trying to draw walks. He did that pretty darn well. Once the game starts, the players are playing to win. A walk for Soto was going to be a good outcome for the opposing pitcher most of the time in 2008.


Thank you. I was hoping you would chime in since you've seen Soto play so much. IIRC, didn't you say Soto was the best, or one of the best hitting prospects you saw in the Midwest League this summer? He definitely needs some work defensively, but I'm glad to hear he's got the tools to be a decent third baseman someday.

Oh, and I agree with you on Mesoraco. I would start him in Dayton to begin the season and then promote him to Sarasota during the summer if he plays well.

lollipopcurve
11-13-2008, 04:11 PM
I would rather see Mesoraco start '09 back in Dayton. The thing you worry about sometimes with a first round pick in an organization that may have some turnover in terms of the scouting director and farm director is that decisions start getting made for the wrong reasons with the kid. There are people who need the Mesoraco pick to look like a good pick. They gave him a lot of money and in a sense, put their reputations on the line. Instead of doing what is best for the kid (putting him in the GCL in 2008 to work on his defense daily would have been best for Mesoraco), there is going to be a political element in how they handle him. I would rather see Mesoraco go to Dayton for six weeks, hit .300 there as I feel he would, shake off the torrential downpour of criticism that he has to carry on his shoulders, and feel like he is making progress. I would rather see that than have him go to Sarasota and hit .260 and keep hearing that he was a bad pick. Mesoraco's offensive skills are light years ahead of his defensive skills and if he is playing in a league where he is hitting well rather than struggling, he can concentrate on defensive development.

Agree 100%. Success along the way is key (that's why I had no problem with Stubbs being moved out of AA quickly -- he'd done well there). Players need to feel that, especially when they've fallen short of their hype. And if there are people in the organization who feel they need Mesoraco to be successful in order to keep their jobs, they should consider the risks inherent in promoting him aggressively -- well described in redsof72's post.

dougdirt
11-13-2008, 04:13 PM
In the article, a scout does say this though: "the ball just comes off his bat differently."

He reminds me of Juan Francisco in that aspect. The ball just jumps off of their bats. The big difference is that Francisco has always been bigger than Soto and Soto doesn't swing and miss nearly as much. I think Francisco's size will give him a slight power advantage (isoP, because I think Soto will hit for a higher average, leading to an overall higher slugging) overall, but not too much.

dougdirt
11-13-2008, 04:19 PM
It really wasn't that special IMO. Soto certainly displayed his raw tools really well, but he's still a dude with a .343 OBP. I mean, 7 walks in over 200 at-bats is a pretty big sign that he has discipline issues. I mean I understand the argument that "he's swinging because he can hit everything", but he's striking out 5 times as often as he walks. That's a problem.

Of course, he's only 19, and does have a special bat when he does connect, but he's a pretty big work in process, and has a lot of learning to do. I could see his lack of discipline really backtracking him as he moves up to more advances pitching that can take advantage of him.

Feel free to look it up yourself.... but guys at the age of Soto don't often put up K% under 17% and have isolated SLG of .170 or more. Guys that do are special hitters, especially when they do it at a young age.

I just don't see his lack of plate discipline. People associate plate discipline with walks. Its not. Plate discipline is knowing what you can and can not hit and not swinging at what you can't hit. When you are holding a K rate of 15% as a 19 year old and hitting .340 over a full season while slugging over .550, you don't have plate discipline problems, you have guys throwing you too many strikes problems.

OnBaseMachine
11-13-2008, 04:22 PM
Another note:

Goldstein describes Alonso as having plus-plus power to all fields and also praises his defensive ability. He calls him a solid defender and says he consistently saves other fielders from errors on poor throws. He also refers to Alonso as a very intelligent player. His defense has been garnering quite a few high remarks recently. I was worried about moving Votto and his plus glove off first base but I'm feeling better about it now after reading scouting reports on Alonso's defense. I'm loving that draft pick.

BRM
11-13-2008, 04:29 PM
BTW here is what scouts said about Valaika's offense and defense:

Hitting seems to come easy for Valaika. He's a bit of a free swinger, but he makes solid contact to all fields and showed surprising power that scouts now believe in, projecting him for 15-20 home runs a year while playing an infield position. He's a solid but unspectacular shortstop with a good arm who carries himself like a big leaguer and wants to be at the plate and making the plays with the game on the line.

But then later Goldstein says his range and arm is short.

Goldstein says he lacks range but we've read where scouts are coming around to the idea of him sticking at SS. Folks who have watched him in the AFL are saying his range has improved enough this year that he can handle the position. Can he really be an average or adequate SS with below average range? I suppose he could but I'd much prefer a SS with above average range.

redsof72
11-13-2008, 04:33 PM
Plate discipline is usually a fancy way to say he can't recognize a slider and he keeps swinging at pitches that look to him like fastballs on the outside half of the plate and end up being sliders four inches off the edge.

The biggest concern I have with Soto is that he is already slow and when he puts on the 20 pounds that it looks like he will add, he will be really slow. But when he does put on that weight, the home run numbers are going to improve too.

Put simply, Soto is a player that every Reds fan should be thrilled to have in the organization. He jumped into a full-season league in July as a 19 year old, was not put in the seven spot in the order where he would see mostly fastballs and bat in lower pressure situations, but instead was put in the three spot where every pitcher gave him nothing but his best stuff, and Soto still basically took the league by storm.

The ball does come off Soto's bat differently and it sounds different. It is because of his bat speed and strong hands.

schmidty622
11-13-2008, 04:40 PM
BTW here is what scouts said about Valaika's offense and defense:

Hitting seems to come easy for Valaika. He's a bit of a free swinger, but he makes solid contact to all fields and showed surprising power that scouts now believe in, projecting him for 15-20 home runs a year while playing an infield position. He's a solid but unspectacular shortstop with a good arm who carries himself like a big leaguer and wants to be at the plate and making the plays with the game on the line.

But then later Goldstein says his range and arm is short.

Sounds like Jeter minus the steals.


Oh, and the massive media man love.

dougdirt
11-13-2008, 04:43 PM
The ball does come off Soto's bat differently and it sounds different. It is because of his bat speed and strong hands.

Plus his ability to square the ball up so often. Combine them all and you get that 'Whip' noise when he hits the ball. Not quite as good as the sound as Jay Bruce produces in that aspect, but its up there.

Orenda
11-13-2008, 05:16 PM
Goldstein says he lacks range but we've read where scouts are coming around to the idea of him sticking at SS. Folks who have watched him in the AFL are saying his range has improved enough this year that he can handle the position. Can he really be an average or adequate SS with below average range? I suppose he could but I'd much prefer a SS with above average range.

I think we need to keep this in perspective, Jeff Keppinger played SS for the reds last season. Of course Keppinger is solid on plays he can get to but Valaika would still be an improvement over Keppinger defensively. He might not stick at SS long-term but his bat could turn him into a solid second baseman some day. In a perfect world he would be able to become a suitable shortstop for a couple seasons before Zach Cozart or someone else can come along and force him over to second.

bucksfan2
11-13-2008, 05:30 PM
Plate discipline is usually a fancy way to say he can't recognize a slider and he keeps swinging at pitches that look to him like fastballs on the outside half of the plate and end up being sliders four inches off the edge.

The biggest concern I have with Soto is that he is already slow and when he puts on the 20 pounds that it looks like he will add, he will be really slow. But when he does put on that weight, the home run numbers are going to improve too.

Is Soto that slow? I find it somewhat interesting that he would be considered slow yet played SS before he was drafted.

kpresidente
11-13-2008, 05:33 PM
This is what I find more interesting....


Top 10 Talents 25 and Under (as of Opening Day 2009)

1. Jay Bruce, OF
2. Edinson Volquez, RHP
3. Joey Votto, 1B
4. Yonder Alonso, 1B
5. Johnny Cueto, RHP
6. Homer Bailey, RHP
7. Todd Frazier, INF
8. Drew Stubbs, CF
9. Chris Valaika, SS
10. Bill Bray, LHP


So Alonso over Cueto and Bailey...

OnBaseMachine
11-13-2008, 05:40 PM
I would rank the top five as:

Jay Bruce
Edinson Volquez
Johnny Cueto
Joey Votto
Yonder Alonso

Hoosier Red
11-13-2008, 06:01 PM
It really wasn't that special IMO. Soto certainly displayed his raw tools really well, but he's still a dude with a .343 OBP. I mean, 7 walks in over 200 at-bats is a pretty big sign that he has discipline issues. I mean I understand the argument that "he's swinging because he can hit everything", but he's striking out 5 times as often as he walks. That's a problem.

Of course, he's only 19, and does have a special bat when he does connect, but he's a pretty big work in process, and has a lot of learning to do. I could see his lack of discipline really backtracking him as he moves up to more advances pitching that can take advantage of him.

I dunno a combined OPS of over .900 is pretty dang good, especially since he's only 19.

The "don't worry about footwork, we can teach that," worries me though. I've had enough teaching footwork to Edwin to last me a lifetime.

*BaseClogger*
11-13-2008, 06:27 PM
I was right about Mesoraco! I'm glad to seem him included. Where is Danny Dorn's name?


Maybe I just don't understand the star system. How does the report on Yorman Rodriquez translate into 3 star prospect? That reads like a 5 star to me.

It's all about balancing the ceiling with the floor, and the risk with the reward. Sure, those guys might have incredible ceilings. But what is the probability that they meet it? What is the probability they flame out in the low minors? Duran and Rodriguez are so raw and have so much development left that they are still huge risks...

OnBaseMachine
11-13-2008, 06:55 PM
Is anyone else amazed looking at this prospect list and seeing the date of births for Juan Duran and Yorman Rodriguez? 9/2/91 for Duran and 8/15/92 for Yorman. 1992!!! Holy cow. I'm five years older than this kid.

dougdirt
11-13-2008, 06:56 PM
Is anyone else amazed looking at this prospect list and seeing the date of births for Juan Duran and Yorman Rodriguez? 9/2/91 for Duran and 8/15/92 for Yorman. 1992!!! Holy cow. I'm five years older than this kid.

Youngin' I have 8 years on them.... :cool:

fearofpopvol1
11-13-2008, 06:56 PM
I think Francisco is too high.

OnBaseMachine
11-13-2008, 07:06 PM
Youngin' I have 8 years on them.... :cool:

After reviewing the top 11, I'm actually older than seven of the top 11. Only Frazier, Stubbs, Valaika, and Thompson are older than me. Heck, my brother (born 6-25-91) is older than Duran and Yorman. Crazy stuff. Just think, eight years from now we'll start seeing kids signed who were born in 2000.

JayBruceFan
11-13-2008, 07:18 PM
You people are too obsessed with OBP and OPS

BoydsOfSummer
11-13-2008, 07:32 PM
If Frazier could stick in the middle, he'd be the first six-star player.:cool:

RED VAN HOT
11-13-2008, 07:55 PM
Youngin' I have 8 years on them.... :cool:

Enough! I have 8 years on their grandfathers.

*BaseClogger*
11-13-2008, 07:58 PM
You people are too obsessed with OBP and OPS

:laugh:

Just the thought of some random person trying to read RZ and interpret all of the acronyms we use makes me laugh out loud.

Seriously though, what would you prefer we focus on?

OnBaseMachine
11-13-2008, 08:00 PM
:laugh:

Just the thought of some random person trying to read RZ and interpret all of the acronyms we use makes me laugh out loud.

Seriously though, what would you prefer we focus on?

Batting average on turf against LHP at night is a good stat.

dougdirt
11-13-2008, 08:06 PM
Batting average on turf against LHP at night is a good stat.

Yeah, but only at night.

*BaseClogger*
11-13-2008, 08:15 PM
Yeah, but only at night.

South of the Mason-Dixon line?

Benihana
11-13-2008, 10:26 PM
I'm a little surprised Thompson is so low. I guess his injuries are catching up to him.

Patrick Bateman
11-14-2008, 12:36 AM
Feel free to look it up yourself.... but guys at the age of Soto don't often put up K% under 17% and have isolated SLG of .170 or more. Guys that do are special hitters, especially when they do it at a young age.

I just don't see his lack of plate discipline. People associate plate discipline with walks. Its not. Plate discipline is knowing what you can and can not hit and not swinging at what you can't hit. When you are holding a K rate of 15% as a 19 year old and hitting .340 over a full season while slugging over .550, you don't have plate discipline problems, you have guys throwing you too many strikes problems.

I find this somewhat condraictory. Firstly, you applaud Soto for the low K rates, but is that really all that surprising, when in conjunction with your second point, that he is getting basically nothing but strikes thrown at him? I would think that would tone down the specialty factor. With the low walk rates, he's obviously swinging a lot, so when the end result is striking out 5 times as much as you walk, I still think there is a plate approach issue. I could be wrong on this, but it to me looks like he's swinging a lot early in the count which has just as much to do with low K rates as it does a strong ability to make contact.

I still see the bottom line as a .343 OBP. Now, I of course know the kid is only 19, and he has tons of time to develop, but I don't think he's as advanced as he's made out to be. I still see him as a high ceiling, relatively low floor type of talent, which makes it difficult for me to give him a clear distinction over guys like Stubbs. I think the overall package puts him around the same tier.

dougdirt
11-14-2008, 02:25 AM
I just can't agree with that. Walk rates don't come into play with a guy who doesn't strike out much and can hit .300+ with plenty of power, especially at a young age. If he isn't striking out then he isn't likely chasing ton, meaning he gets the zone, he is just hitting it when its thrown there. When guys start to nibble around him because of his power, he will adjust and not swing at the outside pitches.

Mario-Rijo
11-14-2008, 02:29 AM
I just can't agree with that. Walk rates don't come into play with a guy who doesn't strike out much and can hit .300+ with plenty of power, especially at a young age. If he isn't striking out then he isn't likely chasing ton, meaning he gets the zone, he is just hitting it when its thrown there. When guys start to nibble around him because of his power, he will adjust and not swing at the outside pitches.

Which IMO is exactly what you want in a player.

kpresidente
11-14-2008, 07:14 AM
I'm a little surprised Thompson is so low. I guess his injuries are catching up to him.

For me, it's not that Thompson is so low on the list, it's that he only gets a 2-star rating. I don't know exactly how he's defining is star-system, but I perused some of the other teams "2-star" prospects, and Thompson (and Dorn, for that matter) are a lot better than the garbage I saw. This guy is seriously underrating the depth in our system.

RedlegJake
11-14-2008, 08:58 AM
For me, it's not that Thompson is so low on the list, it's that he only gets a 2-star rating. I don't know exactly how he's defining is star-system, but I perused some of the other teams "2-star" prospects, and Thompson (and Dorn, for that matter) are a lot better than the garbage I saw. This guy is seriously underrating the depth in our system.

I look at it a bit differently - this guy has problems because of the depth in our system - in this ranking system I think the stronger systems have better players in the lower tiers, while weaker systems end up with a few guys who are pushed a bit into tiers they don't really deserve bacuase of a lack of comparables within the system. Put Valaika, Soto and Lotzkar into a really weak farm system and I'll bet they'd rise a notch in his rankings just by comparison to their mates. It would be very, very difficult for anyone not to be influenced somewhat by that.

RedlegJake
11-14-2008, 09:05 AM
I think we need to keep this in perspective, Jeff Keppinger played SS for the reds last season. Of course Keppinger is solid on plays he can get to but Valaika would still be an improvement over Keppinger defensively. He might not stick at SS long-term but his bat could turn him into a solid second baseman some day. In a perfect world he would be able to become a suitable shortstop for a couple seasons before Zach Cozart or someone else can come along and force him over to second.

This is spot on. By all accounts Valaika has improved his play at short, I'd imagine by better positioning and learning to adjust to different hitters and the pitcher on the mound. Having natural range can't be taught so I'd assume that's where the improvement has been made - and good footwork can save another step. I'd take it - not so much Jeter-ish but Ripken-ish SS work would be my goal for Chris. Somewhat limited range but rock steady glovework and positioning - with a solid bat that yields a very valuable SS. By the time he ages to the point his range diminishes then he moves to second base. That buys development time for Cozart and anyone coming after.

schmidty622
11-14-2008, 10:18 AM
For me, it's not that Thompson is so low on the list, it's that he only gets a 2-star rating. I don't know exactly how he's defining is star-system, but I perused some of the other teams "2-star" prospects, and Thompson (and Dorn, for that matter) are a lot better than the garbage I saw. This guy is seriously underrating the depth in our system.

I'd really like to see the Reds use Thompson out of the pen this year, if he doesn't win the 5th starter spot. I think he has the stuff to be effective in short outings and the injuries that he has suffered are leading him down the path to being a bullpen arm anyway.

I'd just like to see what he has to offer in the 6th and 7th, along with some long relief duties.

RedlegJake
11-14-2008, 10:21 AM
If one or both aren't traded I'd like to see him and Homer in the bullpen for a season or two.

schmidty622
11-14-2008, 10:27 AM
If one or both aren't traded I'd like to see him and Homer in the bullpen for a season or two.

I'd like to see Homer handled like Texas handled Volquez. He needs to grow up and develop his breaking pitches. I think Texas had a plan where they made Volquez meet certain benchmarks with his pitches in order to move up in the system. Something like 75% of his first pitches in any given at bat had to be off speed pitches. There were off the field rules too. It seemed like a pretty good system.

Do it and see how Homer responds. You'll either make a pitcher out of him or you'll break a prospect. One way or the other you'll find out what he's made of.

RedsManRick
11-14-2008, 01:41 PM
I just can't agree with that. Walk rates don't come into play with a guy who doesn't strike out much and can hit .300+ with plenty of power, especially at a young age. If he isn't striking out then he isn't likely chasing ton, meaning he gets the zone, he is just hitting it when its thrown there. When guys start to nibble around him because of his power, he will adjust and not swing at the outside pitches.

I think the bolded part is incredibly important and occasionally dismissed. The prospect hitting .300 without walks who isn't striking out either is a VERY different animal than the one hitting .300 without walks who is striking out a lot.

Especially when there's power involved in driving that average, the strikeouts (or lack thereof) portend an ability to handle more advanced pitching. There's nothing wrong with getting your OBP through hits -- in fact it's preferable. But if you're doing that because you're beating up on bad pitching (while getting dominated by good pitching), you're in for some trouble when the bad pitchers stay behind in the low minors and you try to advance. How will that average hold up when you start facing guys who can command their breaking stuff? You need to either be able to hit that stuff or lay off of it and it's hard to see that ability in the low minors.

OnBaseMachine
11-14-2008, 03:02 PM
It's very unlikely it ever happens, but it's fun to dream about a future outfield of Juan Duran, Yorman Rodriguez, and Jay Bruce. That would be one talented outfield. The odds of it ever happening are slim but a guy can dream can't he?

dougdirt
11-14-2008, 03:02 PM
Spot on Rick. If Soto see's his K rate start rising and the walks are still low, then it becomes a problem. But if he turns into a modern day Andrew Dawson or Carlos Lee type of hitter, there isn't really a problem with that. Not everyone is going to draw a ton of walks (although Lee started out slow, he did have a few strong walk seasons in the middle as he aged and showed MLB power). The jury is still out, but if Soto keeps up his low walks, low K's and a lot of power, there isn't likely going to be a problem with it at all.

Patrick Bateman
11-14-2008, 05:11 PM
Make no mistake, I don't care how he gets the OBP. If he was OBPing .370 with few walks, that would be great by me.

But he isn't. He actually might be some pretty minor tweaks away, but in Dayton, his K's weren't so low that it offset the lack of walks to create a high OBP.

Will M
11-14-2008, 05:49 PM
back in the day Donruss would have ~40 cards of rookie players who were 'Rated Rookies'. For every Tom Glavine there were three Tom Smiths.
For every Curt Schilling there were two Curt Jones.
Not every stud prospect even makes the bigs let alone becomes an everyday player let alone an All Star. I tend not to get too excited about players below A+ pr pitchers below AA. The best thing about the current Reds system is the DEPTH we have.

Will M
11-14-2008, 05:53 PM
I'd really like to see the Reds use Thompson out of the pen this year, if he doesn't win the 5th starter spot. I think he has the stuff to be effective in short outings and the injuries that he has suffered are leading him down the path to being a bullpen arm anyway.

I'd just like to see what he has to offer in the 6th and 7th, along with some long relief duties.

For me I am not sure what to do with Thompson in 2009. I don't know if I'd pitch him in the pen vs AAA if he doesn't win the 5th starter spot.
Owings or Ramirez is likely the 5th starter with the other in the pen. Both have had some big league success which Thompson has not. Maloney is trade bait due to his flyball tendencies. Bailey is a starter in AAA until he gets his you know what together.

kpresidente
11-14-2008, 05:57 PM
For me I am not sure what to do with Thompson in 2009. I don't know if I'd pitch him in the pen vs AAA if he doesn't win the 5th starter spot.
Owings or Ramirez is likely the 5th starter with the other in the pen. Both have had some big league success which Thompson has not. Maloney is trade bait due to his flyball tendencies. Bailey is a starter in AAA until he gets his you know what together.

Thompson needs to be in AAA. He has some real potential, and it's best to let that develop in AAA. With Ramirez and Owings, I think it's what-you-see-is-what-you-get at this point.

Will M
11-14-2008, 06:05 PM
Thompson needs to be in AAA. He has some real potential, and it's best to let that develop in AAA. With Ramirez and Owings, I think it's what-you-see-is-what-you-get at this point.

you are probably right. Bailey, Thompson & Lotzkar are the only starters I see in the system with the potential to be a TOR starter.

11larkin11
11-16-2008, 04:22 AM
you are probably right. Bailey, Thompson & Lotzkar are the only starters I see in the system with the potential to be a TOR starter.

These two are a little less known, but I would include Hildenbrandt and JC Sulbaran too

Scrap Irony
11-16-2008, 11:00 AM
Horst, too, IMO. Has the pure stuff.

RedlegJake
11-16-2008, 11:48 AM
Everyone wants the TOR guys, of course, but there's a lot of value in having a crop of middle to end of rotation guys, especially now with middle rotation guys getting 10 million and up. Sulbaran, Buck, LeCure, Wood, Viola, Thompson ( I have him more as a middle guy), Maloney, Hildenbrandt, Ramirez, Owings - these are the guys who you need to find for spots 3 to 5 so you can deal a guy like Arroyo when he becomes expensive. The Reds are just entering the point where they can lay the back end of the rotation into the hands of emerging guys. And Harang, Volquez and Cueto should be under control long enough to bring possible replacements in Lotzkar, Thompson, maybe the Guillon kid, maybe Hildenbrandt or a matured Bailey for the TOR. Plus, not having to spend big dollars to keep expensive MOR guys means you can afford a FA for the top. The important thing in my opinion is to continue to draft and to acquire as add-ins via trades, young arms to keep taking over those spots as they "graduate". Same thing with middle relievers - having guys who aren't necessarily closer quality but can be solid middle relievers frees up the FO to spend money on a closer instead of crazy Stanton contracts. The pitching in the Reds system may not be real sexy but there's a lot of solid depth.

Screwball
11-16-2008, 11:52 AM
These two are a little less known, but I would include Hildenbrandt and JC Sulbaran too

I wouldn't.

camisadelgolf
11-16-2008, 12:05 PM
A depth of MoR guys is important. A lot of the better starting pitchers were once considered middle- or back-of-the-rotation guys (i.e. Aaron Harang), and in some cases, all it takes is a little extra command, another MPH or two on the fastball, or a small adjustment on a breaking pitch to bring them to the upper tier.

Cooper
11-16-2008, 12:36 PM
Hasn't Thompson's injury record and build paved the way for him to pitch out of the pen? Appears to me you start him in the pen and allow his body to mature and then you see if he can start in the mlb.

OnBaseMachine
11-16-2008, 01:03 PM
Horst, too, IMO. Has the pure stuff.

Horst projects as a back-end starter or as a reliever. His fastball tops out around 91 and he's got a great changeup. His breaking ball still needs work though. He's a solid prospect but he's not a TOR talent IMO.

mth123
11-16-2008, 02:20 PM
Everyone wants the TOR guys, of course, but there's a lot of value in having a crop of middle to end of rotation guys, especially now with middle rotation guys getting 10 million and up. Sulbaran, Buck, LeCure, Wood, Viola, Thompson ( I have him more as a middle guy), Maloney, Hildenbrandt, Ramirez, Owings - these are the guys who you need to find for spots 3 to 5 so you can deal a guy like Arroyo when he becomes expensive. The Reds are just entering the point where they can lay the back end of the rotation into the hands of emerging guys. And Harang, Volquez and Cueto should be under control long enough to bring possible replacements in Lotzkar, Thompson, maybe the Guillon kid, maybe Hildenbrandt or a matured Bailey for the TOR. Plus, not having to spend big dollars to keep expensive MOR guys means you can afford a FA for the top. The important thing in my opinion is to continue to draft and to acquire as add-ins via trades, young arms to keep taking over those spots as they "graduate". Same thing with middle relievers - having guys who aren't necessarily closer quality but can be solid middle relievers frees up the FO to spend money on a closer instead of crazy Stanton contracts. The pitching in the Reds system may not be real sexy but there's a lot of solid depth.

Good post and very true. The Reds have had to resort to dumpster diving or overpaying to fill the rank and file portion of the roster (not just the rotation). It uses up resources and limits trade flexibility. I really think the prospect group on hand now doesn't have many studs to build around, but there could be as many as 25 or 30 potential major league role players (they won't all make it) to fill in holes and use to replace others that get too expensive or flame out. That is a far cry better than the first half of this decade and given that the team harvested 3 studs last year and have one in the system that doesn't qualify for the prospect lists, its an amazing transformation really.

membengal
03-09-2009, 10:33 PM
Goldstein on Juan Carlos Sulbaran:

The Sleeper: A 30th-round draft pick in June, righty Juan-Carlos Sulbaran earned a $500,000 bonus to avoid going home to the Netherlands to pitch professionally there. He's got a projectable body, and three pitches that rate average or above, including a fastball that can get up to 94 mph.

Score one for Goldstein.

BuckeyeRedleg
03-10-2009, 12:57 PM
Score one for Goldstein.

2008 might be a landmark year for our front office and scouting department.

Signing Duran, Rodriquez, Guillon, Arias, etc. on the international front and then snagging two guys like Sulbaran and Fairel late in the draft, to go along with top picks Alonso and Stewart.

Nice.